>> >>I read in the Evening Standard today that Newcastle and Sarries have
>> >>said that they may not release international players for England's
>> >>summer tour. Dallaglio has said he will tour because he is bound by
>> >>his RFU contract.
>I read this morning that it was started off by Keith Barwell, Chairman of
>Northampton and then quickly supported by Nigel Wray, Chairman at Sarries and
>then the ubiquitous Sir John Hall, Chairman of Newcastle.
>> Apparently Northampton and Saracens are the only clubs whose players do
>>not have an international release clause in their contracts.
>A mere excuse.
>> The Saints CE said he was partly making the announcement to force the
>> two parties (RFU and clubs) to face the issues of a crowded domestic and
>> international season. Some hope there.
>So small-minded jealousies come before the international team? HOW ARROGANT
>DO THESE PRATS HAVE TO GET, BEFORE SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING? Anyway, who
>decided to expand the Premiership to 14 clubs? Who decided to run a
>meaningless competition when internationals are on when they could be
>scheduling league matches? Who are really blocking up progress?
I think the whole point of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Cup was to give a
competition where less experienced players could take advantage of the absence
of the International players. That's certainly how its has worked out at
Leicester, with 2nd/3rd team players getting a chance to play in the same side
as people like Stransky and Serevi.
>Naturally, Barwell is talking tripe. (The original interview was in Rugby
>World - I think) It's all posturing around the question of contracts for club
>or country. Rather than focussing on a proper structure for the game, once
>again the club chairmen are trying to take over rugby.
Sure he is talking with his tongue in his cheek, but the point still remains
that English international players who were Lions will have played through two
summers, hitting maybe 90 games over that time. Then, a limited break before
next season, with 26 league games before anything else is even considered.
Plenty of players have shown an alarming dip in form this season, which can be
at least partly put down to fatigue.
>Is nobody going to get rid of these half-wits, who spent millions with no
>hope of getting it back yet they expecting the rest of rugby to bail them
>out? The biggest thing that would help domestic rugby out would be a
>successful England side. But I wouldnt expect Hall or anyone else to see
>sense. The one comment that really got me foaming was Hall saying he knew
>more when the players were tired than Woodward. Been on any coaching courses
>recently, Sir John?
>> Woodward has said regarding the tour (involving tests v SA, NZ x 2 and
>> Aus that it was a legacy from the last management. He personally thinks the
>> tour is unnecessary and puts too big a strain on the players, but that the tour
>> will be honoured in full, and with enthusiasm. [Hmmmm.... something of a
>> contradiction there I think :-).]
>John, you wouldn't expect me to agree with Woodward and I'm not going to
>disappoint you. What better experience for the players to take an extended
>period in the Southern Hemisphere?
That depends on which players. The majority of the Lions have already had
stacks of experience in the last 12 months. A break is needed.
Lots of people were saying games v Aus, SA, NZ twice on four consecutive
Saturdays was excessive last autumn. Now there is a similar sequence of games
this summer, over 5 weeks, away from home. Big difference. The RFU are
screwing the players for every penny they can get, just like the clubs. A
plague on both their houses.
>Next summer we definitely do want the
>players to rest - only the Australia Test, I presume? - but surely, an
>extended training camp for the players from August to the end of September
>with warm-up matches throughout October. The clubs are hardly likely to agree
Dallollipop and Leonard have both had breaks from club rugby owing to fatigue.
Johnson missed his first league game for Leicester in ages v Bristol. Its not
going to get any better, and I predict several England players will drop
alarmingly in form over the remainder of this English season.
The payers are playing too much, Chris. It will have to stop or it will all
end in tears.
All the best